colour me: sunny with a chance of clouds.

 This palette post is brought to you by sunshine, lemon cranberry muffins and cat naps...
Is it safe to say we're all a little smitten with buttery yellows. charcoal. and smokey greys lately?  I like a punch of colour like cranberry red in the mix, too.

Azriel opted to ignore the lemon.cranberry muffin the size of her head... and go 'tickle' the grey cats with a feather.  "Wake up Mewsli... a feather!"

How about a kiss?

Hope you have a sunshiny day friends!
muffin-making mama,
Mel ;o)


Five.for.Five [travel]

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Here's another edition of five facts.five foibles about myself... and today's theme is: travelling.
In my 20's I was blessed to have that rare thing called 'disposable income' (having squirrelled away my hard-earned income for a few years)... and I had a wanderlust seeking to be satiated.
Over various trips - for many reasons - with different friends I managed to travel:
Italy (Rome/Florence/Venice)
Canada's East Coast
New York
Travelling is a great tutor for life...  I adored every moment of it (well, almost.. some tiny parts are just... nasty).  You learn so much about yourself, and mankind.. when you go out into new spaces and places.  What did I learn you ask?

Fact #1: Walking throughout a city is the best way to experience it... but make sure your footwear is kind to you.
Foible #1: So, I may have felt like the queen of 'frump' trudging around Europe in hiking boots, while women strutted in stilettos along the cobblestone streets of Rome, but you just can't cave for fashion when you're backpacking.

Fact #2: There's a daily euphoric feeling to the freedom that comes with travelling (call it the lack of responsibility).
Foible #2: This euphoric sensation may also have come from the strong Americano's I sucked back throughout Europe... returning home to Canada, I was addicted to espresso's for a while.

Fact #3: Never underestimate the universally understood/embraced beauty of a smile.
Foible #3: Paris and Pakistan had me doing a lot of smiling and nodding... when I, in fact, was clueless to the conversation being had.

Fact #4:  I bet you didn't know I have a castle in Scotland?!  Well, our family name Bothwell, has a castle in the town of ...Bothwell... so that's something.
Foible #4:  My closest attempt to reclaiming it's throne was sitting on a toilet there.

Fact #5:  In all seriousness - the most valuable lesson for me - the absolute intimacy and nearness of a great God.  Call it coincidences (but there were too many) call it flukes (but they were too designed)... in every trip I've ever been on - God has helped.led.guided when I needed it most.
Foible #5:  Call it delusional, but even when I was suffering from food poisoning while in Pakistan... lying on a cot... all my physical comforts lost... I realised I could still praise the God of all comforts and have a deep joy in the midst of utter poop-ville.  That's the most powerful lesson I could ever learn - and still need to this day.
*P.S: Pakistan is also where my Ben confessed his adoration crush for me!  Yep, took him half way across the world to start our romance. :o)

Thanks for joining my in this edition of my 5.for.5 series.
What has travelling taught you?

Wanderlust mama,
Mel ;o)


slide.show.sunday.take 31.

Hello friends, this weekend was a quiet one around the nest.... intentionally
Our crew was needing some rest and family time after a busy week.
So here's what it looked like:
Mama/daughter 'maternity photo-op'... hence, our matching stripey outfits (more to come).

Proof that we aren't all glamorous around here: doing loads of laundry!

Ben's strumming on the mandolin made for a sweet Saturday soundtrack.

This is our current 'success' with getting Azriel used to her big girl bed... 

A snow-filled day called for a sled ride down the sidewalk... and building a snow-kitty-owl creature.

We thought Azi's aunt & uncle would appreciate coming home to this creature on their doorstep... and here she is caught in the act of trying to throw another snowball at her mama (she may have seen her Dad doing a similar move...).

Hope y'all had a rockin' or restfull weekend!
See you on the flip side..
...and no, we haven't had a baby yet!
Mel ;o)


D.I.Y - doily infinity scarf

I'm excited to share this easy do.it.yourself project with you today, friends!  You just knew I was going to upcycle my doily stash again didn't you?  Seriously, I want MY face to appear when one googles the word 'doily'... ha!  But I digress, back to the 'super fast.stupid easy' approach to sewing:

You will need:
A doily table runner (thrifted, or 'borrowed' from your Granny's tea table).
Your choice of scarf fabric (mine was a linen/cotton mix... but stretchy stuff works too).
Sewing Machine 

1. Lay out your scarf fabric: cut it to 16 inches wide x 56 inches long (or fold and cut to 23").
2. Pin your doily table runner down the centre of your fabric strip to hold it in place for sewing. 

3. Zip that baby through your sewing machine... running a stitch all the way around the doily runner.  This the 'full-length' shot I'm holding up here.

4. Now fold the scarf in half (right sides facing in) and sew those raw edges together.. then run a zig-zag stitch over that seam to flatten it on the inside.

5.  Now that you have the full 'loop' of fabric, fold in the edges and sew them down. (To avoid seeing a raw edge you can double fold your edges/iron flat/then sew).  Make sure you're using matching thread to hide your stitch lines.

Enjoy your newly upcycled doily table runner turned delightful infinity scarf!
 1. Double it up for a cosy cuff.
2. Hang it loose to cover a 9month baby belly!
3. Drape it from your head... cuz you can.

You may recall my last infinity scarf was upcycling t-shirts & lace..  well, I like this one better!  Hope you enjoy making one too!

To infinity, and beyond.
Mel ;o)


life is like a chocolate chip cookie...

My sweet daughter helped me bake cookies the other day... and it struck me that these will be the moments that I can teach her about life... infusing wisdom (or the attempt thereof) into the milieu of the everyday moments.

Dear Azriel:  life is like making chocolate chip cookies.
In the moment we may just be given flour... or raw eggs... and on their own - it would taste pretty gross.  But don't despair, in time goodness will follow.  Life needs both the salty and the sweet.

Sometimes we have to wait...
...and wait,
for that goodness to fully 'bake'.  Patience is a hard virtue when the stomach growls and the mouth drools... but the waiting makes the reward taste even sweeter.

Warm and gooey right from the oven.  Sweetness stacked upon sweetness.
These are the moments of celebration. 

We savour.  We laugh.  We munch!

Sharing these joys makes for doubled delight.  We can't hold blessings in tight fists... but let them pour out into the hearts of those around us.

 Bless this mess.

..This beautiful.happy.sweet.salty.mess... called life.

Mama loves you forever, now let's have another cookie.



D.I.Y - valentine owl treat bags!

Here's a simple and sweet do.it.yourself project you may find to be a hoot.
With valentines coming up... you may want to make a special treat bag for your sweetheart... or for the kids to take to school!

A bunch of us bloggers/gal pals surprised the lovely Caren for her birthday yesterday... and I had made these heart hoots for the occasion (since she's a fellow owl enthusiast!).

Step 1. Cut a template of a heart/owl shape (don't hate me for cutting up one of my daughter's masterpieces).
2. Fold some brown craft paper so that with every cut you get two heart/owls. 
3. Paint some quick circles for the eyes... and chevron stripes for the feathers with white acrylic/craft paint. (You don't have to stress it, or be an 'artist'... keep it simple). 

4. Use a permanent marker (mine was sepia brown) to sketch in some quick eyes, eyelashes and a beak.
5. Run the edges through your sewing machine with white thread... while a 'pocket' still remains open.. slide in your treats (I used heart gingersnaps, but you could throw any small candy/notes/money inside!).  Finish sewing the edge and you're done. 

 You can personalise a message on the back: "Hoo loves you!" or "Owl love you forever" or
"You're a hoot" or "my tweet*heart"...  whatever cheesy notion you can muster!

Hope you found that to be a sweet & simple project for any upcoming festivities.

I'm still kicking myself for taking a 'dead' camera to the surprise party... would have had pictures of all the lovely ladies there too!
Happy fabulous 40th Caren

Mel ;o)


my baby.fruit basket.10

Well it's official, we've now reached the end of the produce aisle for documenting this baby's progress!  I was hoping it wouldn't come to this... comparing my baby's size to a watermelon.  Hence, I opted to use a 'baby watermelon' for fear of heaving a full size one into this picture...

...am I the only one freaking out right now?  (Oh wait, my husband is rocking back and forth in the corner too...).   I'm not sure how many more reality checks are going to hit me before the labour pains do their share - but today was another one of those moments.  
The secretary for my midwife's said today "so you'll come in next week - for Feb.1st then?".
"Feb.1st is next week?!" I gasped
"I'm having a baby next week?!!"  (my due date is the 5th...)  and it suddenly hit me again how quick this moment is approaching, and I swear I've lost a week recently because it's not supposed to be February already! 

Ok. Deep breaths.  I am ready to sink my teeth in... er, metaphorically speaking.
My midwife said today that he's dropping, but the head is still not quite 'locked and loaded'.  I'm starting to notice more practise contractions as well - a good reminder to relearn how to embrace breathe through pain instead of running from it.  

One final word on this lil' guy's progress: his heart arrhythmia was ruled out as being any real issue of concern for now - even today he sounded a bit more 'normal' - but the Dr. assessing us said he's likely going to be a "big boy" (9lbs+)... argh!

Sure, our daughter Azriel was 8lbs 11oz.. (you can laugh at my pain - her birth story - here)... but I'm just hoping for a small measure of grace this time around!  Think light thoughts everyone! :o)

Thanks for following our journey through the produce aisle of my baby.fruit basket.
Maybe I'll post a bonus edition if I'm still preggo in 2 more weeks (10 months!).

Melon Mama,
Mel ;o)



slide.show.sunday.take 30.

 A purr-fectly sunny and delightful winter weekend had here, friends!
 Azriel and I tried out her sweet red sled... and she was keen to drag it home.
 I was giddy with all the fresh diamond dust snow falling... but Ben protested my desire to go snow-shoeing (something about..."blah blah blah you're too pregnant").
 Any guesses on what that baby's 'fruit' size is now....?! ;o)
 Crafting like crazy while Azi naps... and Ben bakes an apple pie.
 'Family Dinner Saturday' up at the in-laws...
 ...then dropping Azi off at my folks for a sleepover = date night with my Ben!  Eating/drinking deliciousness at St.Veronas.... and my air hockey 'game face' before we went to a late movie!
 After church we did an art hop downtown to different showings... and then hiked in our favourite park (Jackson Park).
Twas glorious... I totally love dating my husband whenever we're lucky enough to get babysitters... and when the sun sparkles off every snowflake, that just makes this mama's heart shine.

Hope your weekend was a beauty!
See you all tomorrow,
Mel ;o)


colour me: maternity & moccasins...

Here's an 'outfit post' featuring my latest creation: cozy moccasin slipper.. things.
Funky, eh?  I like the Scandinavian vibe to them... colourful and full of patterns.  It felt good to create something again (I even attempted to make them a D.I.Y project for you folks... stay tuned next week).  I think my sewing machine was starting to suffer abandonment issues...

More hand-crafted goodness: my wood & lace earrings ... I gifted these to myself since they matched the wine colour of my skirt!  This yummy green infinity scarf was sewn by a friend.

You may remember this navy & lace dress from earlier on in my pregnancy... it's still a favourite part of my wardrobe now that this baby bulge is ever-increasing... the fabric keeps on stretching!

Tinderpuff wanted in on the photo-session too.  Seriously, this cat is my shadow... I can't sit without her instantly jumping up on me... and she constantly follows me room to room through the house (waiting to lunge onto my big belly I'm sure).

Sheesh, ok, where was I?  I think this was a colour palette post... and a recent creations post.. and an upcoming d.i.y preview... and an outfit post... and a rant about one of our cats...
Ummm.... lets just say having a baby head-butting you in the cervix makes it hard to stay focused.

Waiting to bust,
Mel ;o)


colour me: cocoa & conversations...

Hello friends, care to join me over a cozy cup of cocoa?
If you were here I would tell you that this is one of my favourite colour palettes.. limey greens, turquoise, and chocolaty browns.

I'd also tell you how today marks my 37th week - this belly is full-term now (which means I better get my delivery bag packed for the hospital)... wowsers.  
We had recently discovered that our lil' guy has a heart arrhythmia (erratic heart-rate)... and had to get it assessed to see how benign or serious the issue was.  We were booked for Sick Kids in Toronto, but managed to see a local specialist first.  He assured us that this seemed fairly harmless and was common enough to likely 'right itself'.  [Phew]... these past couple weeks had been a battle to not stress/worry since that never changes anything for good any way.

I'd tell you how recently I've been nesting and resting.  
Cleaning around the house, baking muffins with our gal Azriel, trying to be still, reading, reflecting...
Lately we're developing a good new rhythm in our home - now that Ben finally has a more consistent work schedule... our days seem more structured (my brain needs order!).

I'd say how rewarding it is to push forward in our faith as a couple/family... after a season of wading in a milieu of mediocrity..  re-capturing the wonder of Who God is always brings a sense of 'coming up for air' when you forgot you were even suffocating. 

I'd share how cats.cocoa. and cable knit sweaters are especially delightful right now.

How exciting it is to be featured today on Prudent Baby (one of the top 'Mom' websites for my harem pants d.i.y)!  Who knew that post would continue to be the most googled subject on a daily basis here!
In other random news, I would say how there was a dead hawk in our backyard... but it was so untouched... asleep looking.  I felt struck by how haunting and beautiful it was.

By now I've reached the bottom of my cocoa, the marshmallow is gooey and ready to be slurped back in one final delicious swig.
Wiping my mouth, I'd look up and say... "but how about you?  How's your world lately?"

Thanks for hearing this mama's heart today,
Mel ;o)